The Trump administration reached a milestone in its efforts to reach an asylum agreement with the government of Honduras, which will make it even easier for the United States to deport illegal migrants appearing at the southern border.
The administration on Thursday released an unpublished version of its asylum agreement with Honduras on the Federal Register, and is expected to publish the official version on Friday. The agreement, much like a deal reached with Guatemala in 2019, will allow the United States to reroute some asylum seekers who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border back to Honduras.
The plan will ultimately mitigate the flow of illegal immigration pouring across the southern border, which was hit with a humanitarian crisis in 2019 amid a surge of family units from Central America. Sending migrants back to Central America, the administration argued, weakens the incentive for illegal immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation about the upcoming agreement or when it could go into effect.
The upcoming agreement came as the United States, which is fighting off a global pandemic, is quickly returning nearly all illegal entrants who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. The policy is part of the administration’s ban on all “non-essential” travel at both the northern and southern borders, an attempt to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
The notice on the Federal Register does not spell out exactly what the agreement with Honduras looks like, but it will likely reflect an asylum agreement that was reached with Guatemala.
Under the deal reached with Guatemala, migrants claiming asylum at the southern border are screened to determine whether they crossed Guatemala during their trek to the United States. If so, migrants are given a choice to either go to Guatemala or return to their home country. Asylum seekers can claim fear of persecution or torture in Guatemala, but would be screened again to determine if their claims are legitimate. (RELATED: Trump Loses Sanctuary City Fight With Chicago)
Honduras, much like Guatemala, does not have the infrastructure to hold large populations of migrants. However, most immigrants simply choose to return to their home country.
A total of 253,795 unaccompanied children, family units and single adults from Honduras arrived at the southern border in fiscal year 2019, according to data from Customs and Border Protection, making the country one of the largest sources of illegal immigration into the United States.
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